Fuck. What a predictable first post: the hidden gem that everyone’s heard of. The pub that needs a blog post like Twitter needs people who have opinions about chefs.
Licensed premises (specifically pubs) all essentially offer the same thing. So, when you compare them too closely it boils down to a narcissism of small differences: cost, decor, specific types of dickheads etc. With that in mind, I thought I’d start somewhere that’s unanimously correct - just to set (fucken) the standard.
The East Sydney Hotel embodies nearly everything that I feel a pub should be: true to its area, its history and its patrons. It’s a warm, welcoming relic of Old Sydney/Woolloomooloo. Unlike the tiled-up Federation-era corner pubs that typify the area, the East Sydney throws a country vibe: open fireplaces, b&b accommodation upstairs and (apparently ‘Restaurant Quality’) food that matches.
The Friday night crowd fits that bill too. It’s mostly men in suits that are probably members of the Cricket Ground and the Royal Agricultural Society. A few moustaches and Woolloomooloo locals in the mix. David Gallop drinks there (this feels important).
A schooner of local costs $5.60, which is borderline, but there’s no pokies, and it affords you the privilege of standing at the bar and conversing like a fucken gentleman (or one of the few females there).
From certain angles I catch chunks of my reflection in the mirror-backed Reschs memorabilia that’s all over the back wall: I am indeed a tall, white, Australian man. This probably explains why I like this place.
I walk out feeling powerful and benevolent. Like I could easily employ the son of an old family friend. Just as a favour, y’know?
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